Ryback Talks Past Steroid Use, His Testosterone Shutting Down, WWE Wellness Policy, If He Was Tested

On episode 6 of Conversation With The Big Guy, former WWE Superstar Ryback talked about his prior steroid use as well as his perception that WWE is going away from big, muscular performers.

According to Ryback, he used testosterone and steroids five years before his WWE run. Supposedly, the treatments shut his body down and his testosterone levels dropped significantly, which allowed him to receive testosterone replacement therapy during his time with the company.

"I had a very negative reaction to testosterone and different steroids where it shut me down tremendously. And when I say, 'shut me down', my natural testosterone did not come back or it was not back to what was perceived to be the normal limits, which is not uncommon, but everyone reacts differently."

Moreover, 'The Human Wrecking Ball' claimed that he did not abuse steroids, insofar as he did not use steroids as much as many other professional wrestlers did.

"I never abused them as far as, when I say 'abused', compared to what other people were doing. It was always very mild, but everybody reacts differently to them. But for me, my body, it shut me down, so for the five years before WWE, and I was tired at times, but you just kind of get used to it, I guess."

Also, during the show, the former WWE Intercontinental Champion said that he has always been proud of WWE for its industry-leading Wellness Policy.

"That's one thing with WWE, I will say, and from my experience, I was tested all the time and they did a great job. And I love that that was implemented because, and not to say that steroids were the only thing contributing to people dying early. It was a lot of things." Ryback added, "for whatever reason they did it, who cares? They did it and it's a good thing, and, I've always, from day one, that's one thing I am proud of them for, that they did implement that because, for me, it, like, put restrictions on me, where, like, it challenged me. Like, and I feel like I've been able to look the way that I have by making those changes and adjusting. It makes me even more rare."

Still on the topic of WWE's Wellness Policy, Ryback averred that WWE is going away from musclebound looking guys to distance themselves from the steroid controversy.

"That's one thing with WWE, I did say, I feel like they're using guys now, they're conditioning the audience to the WWE wrestler looks different these days than they used to and they're getting away from the bigger guys and whatnot, even though they had a guy like me that fit in perfectly and did everything the right way. But as a whole, I'm a rare thing. Not everybody looks like me. I realize that." Ryback reflected, "we're too close to that steroid era still where people are afraid to take a step back a little bit because you've seen what it looks like."

The former Nexus member indicated that he understands why WWE would try to get away from featuring stars who look like they could fail a wellness test from a business standpoint, but he thinks WWE should always push larger-than-life stars whenever possible.

"That's why I think they're getting away from it, and, from a business standpoint, I don't disagree with it. I just think that when you have people who can look larger than life and draw people in, you should capitalize on that and I don't think they necessarily always do."

Finally, in the opinion of 'The Big Guy', WWE "missed the boat" with him.

"I always said, 'you guys have a guy that can maintain and stay healthy on the road for you and not fail a wellness test and work with everyone from top to bottom and know how to get over. You're not going to capitalize on that? Come on!'" Ryback continued, "they missed the boat. They didn't know what they had and I'm fine with that. I'm going to show the world what I am now."

Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Conversation With The Big Guy with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.